If you asked my friend(s) to describe me one word they wouldn't use is “trendy.” Although I am stunningly handsome, have a wonderful sense of humour and am incredibly modest, I'm not really a man of trendy tastes. By trendy I mean, of course, a bit wanky. So whenever I find myself in a trendy pub, or even worse, a “bar” I tend to get a bit scared and sweaty. I also tend to end up babbling in a confused manner, saying things such as “HOW MUCH WAS THAT PINT?!” and “SERIOUSLY HOW MUCH?!” Luckily I don't usually end up anywhere “cool” or “hip,” I'm happy to dwell in comfortable cosy pubs supping a pint while idly watching a old codger lose countless pounds on the Deal or No Deal quiz machine. Before losing countless pound coins myself in that bastard machine.
|Plenty of gastro but where's the pub?|
Sometimes however sacrifices must be made and on Friday I ended going out with some work mates to The Fellow in Kings Cross. I don't think this place can really call itself a pub. The ground floor is pretty much given entirely to diners. There's a small corner in the back for anybody who wants to entertain the ridiculous notion of actually having a pint and a chat in a pub. Upstairs is a hot and dank bar complete with DJ and a pleasant roof terrace which is sadly rather small and packed full of smokers.
Things got to a bad start when I ordered a Sharp's “Doom Bar” and was charged £3.70. An utterly bonkers price for a fairly average 4% pint. The ale was OK although not spectacular and certainly not worth what they were charging. As a Londoner I made a point to complain about the price to everybody except the bar staff and manager. There was also Hook Norton “Old Hooky” but I was afraid to order that in case it required a credit check and two character references before a pint would be poured and payment made. After two pints I'd had enough of the hot room and overpriced beer and made a swift exit for the Euston Tap where I enjoyed a fabulous pint of Arbor “Inferiority Complex” mild at a more reasonable £3.10. This was a top notch pint with the wonderful coffee/chocolatey flavours you get from a good mild. The taste may have been heightened by the fact that I was just happy to get out of The Fellow.
Saturday I was out in Islington with The Lovely Jemma and friends and paid a visit to The Bull, which I hadn't been to before. From the outside I was worried it would be another The Fellow as the place looked far to cool for school, had a DJ and appeared to be full of your typical Islington customer (wankers.) Incidentally as I type this Spotify has decided to play the Beach Boys “I Just Wasn't Made For These Times.” I think it's trying to tell me something.
A good pint and AMAZING NAILS. Look at them.
How did they get that way.
It's amazing what science can do these days
Despite my initial fears that there would be no ales The Bull had four handpumps on. I had a rather well kept Brakspeare “Oxford Gold” in a proper ale glass and everything. This lightly hopped beer had a pleasant fruity taste and a healthy citrus aroma. Very suppable and it helped to distract me from the awfulness of the DJ and the clientèle. Overall The Bull confounded my expectations and wasn't too bad at all. Maybe I shouldn't tar all trendy bars with the same brush. But I probably will because I never seem to learn.